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Special Issue "Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Fan-Gang Tseng

Department of Engineering and System Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +886-3-5715131 (ext. 34270)
Fax: +886-3-5733054
Interests: MEMS; BioNEMS; micro/nanofluidic systems; micro fuel cell technology; hydrogen energy
Guest Editor
Assis. Prof. Dr. Tuhin Subhra Santra

Department of Engineering Design, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, 600036, India
Website | E-Mail
Interests: MEMS; Bio-NEMS; single cell technology; biomedical micro/nano devices; micro/nanofluidics; nanomedicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cells play significant roles in our day-to-day life. However, the behaviors of cells or cells with the environment, with their organelles and their intracellular physical/biochemical/biological effects, are still unknown. Micro/Nanofluidic and Bio-MEMS devices are capable to manipulate and detect bio-samples, reagents, or biomolecules at micro/nano scales and well-fulfill the requirements for cellular analysis. These devices are not only useful to simulate physiological environment of cell, cellular transport mechanisms, cell proliferation, differentiation, neural network coordination, and cardiomyocytes synchronization, but it can also easily control the biochemical, physical, and mechanical parameters of cells.

This Special Issue will invite manuscripts conducting research on the integration of micro/nanofluidics and Bio-MEMS devices dealing with cell manipulation, injection, separation, lysis, and cell dynamics, as well as various detection schemes. The role of cellular analysis in system biology, proteomics, genomics, metabolomics, and their application in bioprocess engineering, future challenge, advantages, and limitations are also welcome to be included in the manuscripts.

Prof. Dr. Fan-Gang Tseng
Dr. Tuhin Subhra Santra
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • microfluidics
  • nanofluidics
  • bio-MEMS
  • nanomedicine
  • lab-on-a-Chip
  • life-on-a-Chip
  • organ on a chip
  • lab-in-a-Cell
  • cell chip
  • micro total analysis (µTAS)
  • flow cytometry
  • cell heterogeneity
  • cell perturbation, interaction, cultivation
  • cell proteomics, genomics, epigenomes, metabolomics, fluxomics
  • electroporation, optoporation/photoporation, mechanoporation, sonoporation, microinjection
  • mechanical characterization
  • optical characterization
  • biochemical characterization
  • system biology

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Modulation of Neural Network Activity through Single Cell Ablation: An in Vitro Model of Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 1018; doi:10.3390/molecules21081018
Received: 10 June 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5073 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The technological advancement of optical approaches, and the growth of their applications in neuroscience, has allowed investigations of the physio-pathology of neural networks at a single cell level. Therefore, better understanding the role of single neurons in the onset and progression of neurodegenerative
[...] Read more.
The technological advancement of optical approaches, and the growth of their applications in neuroscience, has allowed investigations of the physio-pathology of neural networks at a single cell level. Therefore, better understanding the role of single neurons in the onset and progression of neurodegenerative conditions has resulted in a strong demand for surgical tools operating with single cell resolution. Optical systems already provide subcellular resolution to monitor and manipulate living tissues, and thus allow understanding the potentiality of surgery actuated at single cell level. In the present work, we report an in vitro experimental model of minimally invasive surgery applied on neuronal cultures expressing a genetically encoded calcium sensor. The experimental protocol entails the continuous monitoring of the network activity before and after the ablation of a single neuron, to provide a robust evaluation of the induced changes in the network activity. We report that in subpopulations of about 1000 neurons, even the ablation of a single unit produces a reduction of the overall network activity. The reported protocol represents a simple and cost effective model to study the efficacy of single-cell surgery, and it could represent a test-bed to study surgical procedures circumventing the abrupt and complete tissue removal in pathological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS)
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Open AccessArticle Influences of Adhesion Variability on the “Living” Dynamics of Filamentous Bacteria in Microfluidic Channels
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 985; doi:10.3390/molecules21080985
Received: 20 May 2016 / Revised: 18 July 2016 / Accepted: 21 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Microfabricated devices have increasingly incorporated bacterial cells for microscale studies and exploiting cell-based functions in situ. However, the role of surface interactions in controlling the bacterial cell behavior is not well understood. In this study, microfluidic substrates of varied bacterial-binding affinity were used
[...] Read more.
Microfabricated devices have increasingly incorporated bacterial cells for microscale studies and exploiting cell-based functions in situ. However, the role of surface interactions in controlling the bacterial cell behavior is not well understood. In this study, microfluidic substrates of varied bacterial-binding affinity were used to probe the interaction-driven behavior of filamentous Escherichia coli. In particular, cell alignment under controlled shear flow as well as subsequent orientation and filamentation were compared between cells presenting distinct outer membrane phenotypes. We demonstrated that filaments retained position under flow, which allowed for dynamic single-cell monitoring with in situ elongation of over 100 μm for adherent cells. This maximum was not reached by planktonic cells and was, therefore, adhesion-dependent. The bound filaments initially aligned with flow under a range of flow rates and their continual elongation was traced in terms of length and growth path; analysis demonstrated that fimbriae-mediated adhesion increased growth rate, increased terminal length, as well as dramatically changed the adherent geometry, particularly buckling behavior. The effects to filament length and buckling were further exaggerated by the strongest, specificity-driven adhesion tested. Such surface-guided control of the elongation process may be valuable to yield interesting “living” filamentous structures in microdevices. In addition, this work may offer a biomedically relevant platform for further elucidation of filamentation as an immune-resistant morphology. Overall, this work should inspire broader exploration of microfabricated devices for the study and application of single bacterial cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS)
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Open AccessArticle A High-Throughput Automated Microfluidic Platform for Calcium Imaging of Taste Sensing
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 896; doi:10.3390/molecules21070896
Received: 4 June 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2142 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The human enteroendocrine L cell line NCI-H716, expressing taste receptors and taste signaling elements, constitutes a unique model for the studies of cellular responses to glucose, appetite regulation, gastrointestinal motility, and insulin secretion. Targeting these gut taste receptors may provide novel treatments for
[...] Read more.
The human enteroendocrine L cell line NCI-H716, expressing taste receptors and taste signaling elements, constitutes a unique model for the studies of cellular responses to glucose, appetite regulation, gastrointestinal motility, and insulin secretion. Targeting these gut taste receptors may provide novel treatments for diabetes and obesity. However, NCI-H716 cells are cultured in suspension and tend to form multicellular aggregates, preventing high-throughput calcium imaging due to interferences caused by laborious immobilization and stimulus delivery procedures. Here, we have developed an automated microfluidic platform that is capable of trapping more than 500 single cells into microwells with a loading efficiency of 77% within two minutes, delivering multiple chemical stimuli and performing calcium imaging with enhanced spatial and temporal resolutions when compared to bath perfusion systems. Results revealed the presence of heterogeneity in cellular responses to the type, concentration, and order of applied sweet and bitter stimuli. Sucralose and denatonium benzoate elicited robust increases in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration. However, glucose evoked a rapid elevation of intracellular Ca2+ followed by reduced responses to subsequent glucose stimulation. Using Gymnema sylvestre as a blocking agent for the sweet taste receptor confirmed that different taste receptors were utilized for sweet and bitter tastes. This automated microfluidic platform is cost-effective, easy to fabricate and operate, and may be generally applicable for high-throughput and high-content single-cell analysis and drug screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS)
Open AccessArticle A PDMS-Based Microfluidic Hanging Drop Chip for Embryoid Body Formation
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 882; doi:10.3390/molecules21070882
Received: 21 May 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 6 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (16604 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The conventional hanging drop technique is the most widely used method for embryoid body (EB) formation. However, this method is labor intensive and limited by the difficulty in exchanging the medium. Here, we report a microfluidic chip-based approach for high-throughput formation of EBs.
[...] Read more.
The conventional hanging drop technique is the most widely used method for embryoid body (EB) formation. However, this method is labor intensive and limited by the difficulty in exchanging the medium. Here, we report a microfluidic chip-based approach for high-throughput formation of EBs. The device consists of microfluidic channels with 6 × 12 opening wells in PDMS supported by a glass substrate. The PDMS channels were fabricated by replicating polydimethyl-siloxane (PDMS) from SU-8 mold. The droplet formation in the chip was tested with different hydrostatic pressures to obtain optimal operation pressures for the wells with 1000 μm diameter openings. The droplets formed at the opening wells were used to culture mouse embryonic stem cells which could subsequently developed into EBs in the hanging droplets. This device also allows for medium exchange of the hanging droplets making it possible to perform immunochemistry staining and characterize EBs on chip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS)
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Open AccessArticle The Deformation of Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Microfluidic Channels Filled with Embedded Circular Obstacles under Certain Circumstances
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 798; doi:10.3390/molecules21060798
Received: 20 May 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2959 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Experimental investigations were conducted to determine the influence of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic channels containing aligned circular obstacles (with diameters of 172 µm and 132 µm) on the flow velocity and pressure drop under steady-state flow conditions. A significant PDMS bulging was observed when
[...] Read more.
Experimental investigations were conducted to determine the influence of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic channels containing aligned circular obstacles (with diameters of 172 µm and 132 µm) on the flow velocity and pressure drop under steady-state flow conditions. A significant PDMS bulging was observed when the fluid flow initially contacted the obstacles, but this phenomenon decreased in the 1 mm length of the microfluidic channels when the flow reached a steady-state. This implies that a microfluidic device operating with steady-state flows does not provide fully reliable information, even though less PDMS bulging is observed compared to quasi steady-state flow. Numerical analysis of PDMS bulging using ANSYS Workbench showed a relatively good agreement with the measured data. To verify the influence of PDMS bulging on the pressure drop and flow velocity, theoretical analyses were performed and the results were compared with the experimental results. The measured flow velocity and pressure drop data relatively matched well with the classical prediction under certain circumstances. However, discrepancies were generated and became worse as the microfluidic devices were operated under the following conditions: (1) restricted geometry of the microfluidic channels (i.e., shallow channel height, large diameter of obstacles and a short microchannel length); (2) operation in quasi-steady state flow; (3) increasing flow rates; and (4) decreasing amount of curing agent in the PDMS mixture. Therefore, in order to obtain reliable data a microfluidic device must be operated under appropriate conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Chip Inlet Geometry in Microfluidic Devices for Cell Studies
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 778; doi:10.3390/molecules21060778
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2042 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Micro-fabricated devices integrated with fluidic components provide an in vitro platform for cell studies best mimicking the in vivo micro-environment. These devices are capable of creating precise and controllable surroundings of pH value, temperature, salt concentration, and other physical or chemical stimuli. Various
[...] Read more.
Micro-fabricated devices integrated with fluidic components provide an in vitro platform for cell studies best mimicking the in vivo micro-environment. These devices are capable of creating precise and controllable surroundings of pH value, temperature, salt concentration, and other physical or chemical stimuli. Various cell studies such as chemotaxis and electrotaxis can be performed by using such devices. Moreover, microfluidic chips are designed and fabricated for applications in cell separations such as circulating tumor cell (CTC) chips. Usually, there are two most commonly used inlets in connecting the microfluidic chip to sample/reagent loading tubes: the vertical (top-loading) inlet and the parallel (in-line) inlet. Designing this macro-to-micro interface is believed to play an important role in device performance. In this study, by using the commercial COMSOL Multiphysics software, we compared the cell capture behavior in microfluidic devices with different inlet types and sample flow velocities. Three different inlets were constructed: the vertical inlet, the parallel inlet, and the vertically parallel inlet. We investigated the velocity field, the flow streamline, the cell capture rate, and the laminar shear stress in these inlets. It was concluded that the inlet should be designed depending on the experimental purpose, i.e., one wants to maximize or minimize cell capture. Also, although increasing the flow velocity could reduce cell sedimentation, too high shear stresses are thought harmful to cells. Our findings indicate that the inlet design and flow velocity are crucial and should be well considered in fabricating microfluidic devices for cell studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Cardiac Meets Skeletal: What’s New in Microfluidic Models for Muscle Tissue Engineering
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1128; doi:10.3390/molecules21091128
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 19 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4296 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last few years microfluidics and microfabrication technique principles have been extensively exploited for biomedical applications. In this framework, organs-on-a-chip represent promising tools to reproduce key features of functional tissue units within microscale culture chambers. These systems offer the possibility to investigate
[...] Read more.
In the last few years microfluidics and microfabrication technique principles have been extensively exploited for biomedical applications. In this framework, organs-on-a-chip represent promising tools to reproduce key features of functional tissue units within microscale culture chambers. These systems offer the possibility to investigate the effects of biochemical, mechanical, and electrical stimulations, which are usually applied to enhance the functionality of the engineered tissues. Since the functionality of muscle tissues relies on the 3D organization and on the perfect coupling between electrochemical stimulation and mechanical contraction, great efforts have been devoted to generate biomimetic skeletal and cardiac systems to allow high-throughput pathophysiological studies and drug screening. This review critically analyzes microfluidic platforms that were designed for skeletal and cardiac muscle tissue engineering. Our aim is to highlight which specific features of the engineered systems promoted a typical reorganization of the engineered construct and to discuss how promising design solutions exploited for skeletal muscle models could be applied to improve cardiac tissue models and vice versa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS)
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Open AccessReview Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 1006; doi:10.3390/molecules21081006
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 2 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study of model organisms is very important in view of their potential for application to human therapeutic uses. One such model organism is the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. As a nematode, C. elegans have ~65% similarity with human disease genes and,
[...] Read more.
The study of model organisms is very important in view of their potential for application to human therapeutic uses. One such model organism is the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. As a nematode, C. elegans have ~65% similarity with human disease genes and, therefore, studies on C. elegans can be translated to human, as well as, C. elegans can be used in the study of different types of parasitic worms that infect other living organisms. In the past decade, many efforts have been undertaken to establish interdisciplinary research collaborations between biologists, physicists and engineers in order to develop microfluidic devices to study the biology of C. elegans. Microfluidic devices with the power to manipulate and detect bio-samples, regents or biomolecules in micro-scale environments can well fulfill the requirement to handle worms under proper laboratory conditions, thereby significantly increasing research productivity and knowledge. The recent development of different kinds of microfluidic devices with ultra-high throughput platforms has enabled researchers to carry out worm population studies. Microfluidic devices primarily comprises of chambers, channels and valves, wherein worms can be cultured, immobilized, imaged, etc. Microfluidic devices have been adapted to study various worm behaviors, including that deepen our understanding of neuromuscular connectivity and functions. This review will provide a clear account of the vital involvement of microfluidic devices in worm biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS)
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Open AccessReview Development of Droplet Microfluidics Enabling High-Throughput Single-Cell Analysis
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 881; doi:10.3390/molecules21070881
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 28 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2480 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article reviews recent developments in droplet microfluidics enabling high-throughput single-cell analysis. Five key aspects in this field are included in this review: (1) prototype demonstration of single-cell encapsulation in microfluidic droplets; (2) technical improvements of single-cell encapsulation in microfluidic droplets; (3) microfluidic
[...] Read more.
This article reviews recent developments in droplet microfluidics enabling high-throughput single-cell analysis. Five key aspects in this field are included in this review: (1) prototype demonstration of single-cell encapsulation in microfluidic droplets; (2) technical improvements of single-cell encapsulation in microfluidic droplets; (3) microfluidic droplets enabling single-cell proteomic analysis; (4) microfluidic droplets enabling single-cell genomic analysis; and (5) integrated microfluidic droplet systems enabling single-cell screening. We examine the advantages and limitations of each technique and discuss future research opportunities by focusing on key performances of throughput, multifunctionality, and absolute quantification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fluidics and Bio-MEMS)
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